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Movies on Max: AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM

by Jef Dinsmore
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Movies_AquamanLostKingdom-PosterNow, I am not a superhero movie fan, but if I’m not mistaken AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM  is the last of the DC films before James Gunn’s new continuity, right? This 2023 James Wan film, starring Jason Mamoa as our title character, is the sequel to 2018’s Aquaman. The 124-minute movie made its quick arrival at Max on February 27th. 

The sequel grossed $124.2 million in the United States contributing to its worldwide total of $434.1 million. It is the highest-grossing DC film since the first Aquaman film but grossed less than half of that film’s box office revenue. It was released in December of 2023 and within a two-month window appears on the WBD streamer. That all could be because it did not linger strongly at the box office long enough, the powers-that-be wanted to burn through the old continuity faster, or for the simple fact, due to the industry strikes, Max was showing a dearth of big-name content. Nevertheless, the title is now on Max. 

The movie breaks down thusly: Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta, still driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all. This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force. To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm, the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences to protect their kingdom and save Aquaman’s family, and the world, from irreversible destruction.

So, what did the critics have to say? ReelViews didn’t hold back when it said,” The Aquaman sequel feels like it was mostly constructed in post-production, with CGI working hand-in-hand with editing to fashion something borderline-coherent.” Rolling Stone offered, “A tonal mess, dogged by VFX that range from “video-game cut scene” to “last-minute rush job,” complicated yet curiously thin storytelling, and endlessly aggressive rib-nudging.” Finally, CNN stated, “Lacking the sense of discovery and world-building that powered the original, director James Wan settles for a sort-of misguided buddy comedy. Whatever the intent, this doesn’t feel like the answer to lift superhero movies out of their slump.” 

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We leave you with a positive comment or two including my own. AV Club  says, “It’s the kind of film that wants to leave everything it has out on the field, and that produces a kinetic, often scattered, but nonetheless entertaining popcorn movie that truly gives us everything it has, and then some.” And USA Today stated, “The movie doesn’t sink nor swim: It’s aggressively fine, floating along as a breezy-enough outing – and a brotherly one, at that – without any particularly spectacular strokes.”

As for me, this will always be my Aquaman and Black Manta – 

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Take the dive if you care too. AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM is available on Max.

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